Phat Tech

Tinker tech and learn some.

Phat Tech is a site where I can write about the projects I've been working on and hobbies that I've been playing with. Along the way I write about my failures, successes, and more importantly, my learnings.

DevOps - a core focus area for me at work.

Splunk is a favourite tool where I can get analytical and creative.

Artificial Intelligence. Having studied this for my undergrad and post grad, the flame was always there and now with all the new cool tools and gadgets out there the flame is getting fanned. Currently playing with reinforcement learning and applying this in the AWS Deep Racer league. Las Vegas here I come :)

Ansible, Puppet, Chef. All great tools for that automation project. I've used these tools with varying extensiveness in a variety of projects. Most recently, using Chef and Ansible to automate parts of an IBM WebSphere Application Server deployment pipeline. Also used Puppet to manage Splunk cluster deployments in AWS. All in all, my preference would be Ansible, Puppet then Chef.

Serverless and JAM. Netlify and Gatsby is a great and simple (well...) way to get your service online. Jury is still out if Netlify prices are justified for a personal web site though.

Latest stories

Test Automation with Python Behave and AnsibleJune 18, 2019 - 06:02:29

In a recent role that involved production support of an in-house framework for IBM WAS, I took the opportunity to venture into the world of testing automation. This post highlights the features and design decisions of the implementation.


Secrets Management with Puppet, Hiera and AWS KMS June 17, 2019 - 07:36:25

Using Hiera to separate organisation configuration data from Puppet code is a well known best practice that allows you to write reusable modules. Usually configuration data involves sensitive materials such as passwords, private keys or personal details. Fortunately, the Hiera ecosystem includes projects that integrates AWS KMS. This post highlights how we used this powerful combination to manage secrets using Puppet.


AWS Lambda with Splunk HECJune 15, 2019 - 02:29:27

AWS Lambda with Splunk HEC is a well known infrastructure pattern for streaming all sorts of data into Splunk. This guide sets up the AWS Lambda function and an Splunk HEC input.


Back Up Splunk Hot BucketsJune 12, 2019 - 01:12:00

There is strong concensus that backing up Splunk hot buckets using storage snapshot is reliable but there's not many, if any, complete examples of how to set this up. Here is an implementation using LVM and EBS, automation with Cloudformation and Puppet.


Improving the Splunk Dashboard development workflowMay 20, 2019 - 11:04:00

When developing complex Splunk dashboards, the native Splunk workflow can be painfully slow. Among other annoynces, the Splunk dashboard editor preview does not render tokens therefore leaving some visualisations unrendered due to the incomplete underlying searches that use tokens. Here is an automation setup that helped me speed up the development loop and throws in some other benefits such as version control.


Splunk Indexed Data Backup and ArchiveMay 01, 2019 - 05:43:19

LVM snapshots and AWS EBS snapshots are complimentary technologies that ensure reliable backups of Splunk configurations and indexed data, including hot buckets. This post describes how these technologies were used in a recent project to implement a data protection strategy.